Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Shauna!!!

Here's what was happening the day you were born:
Number-one song in the charts:"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel
Famous People born this day:
1470 - Hongzhi, Emperor of China (d. 1505)
1549 - Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1609)1863 - Henry Ford, American industrialist (d. 1947)1926 - Christine McGuire, American singer (The McGuire Sisters)1939 - Peter Bogdanovich, American film director1941 - Paul Anka, Canadian singer and composer1947 - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born American actor, body builder, and Governor of California--Whoa!
1958 - Kate Bush, British musician1963 - Lisa Kudrow, American actress

Average price of a dozen eggs:0.91

Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you <3

Happy Birthday Sweetness, we love you!

Jeffrey, Dexter, Dottie, Noodle and Sprout

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hello, Laziness

It is difficult to know where to begin. Most of me is too exhausted to go into robust detail, but I wanted to give you all a quick update. Today, Jeff and I went in for a routine appointment with our OB. The appointment is best explained with:

Doc: "Have you been working?"
Me: "Yes"
Doc: "Not anymore!"

She basically said she was giving me medically prescribed laziness. I attempted to negotiate limited work from home, but the look on her face alone told me that it was non-negotiable. I ultimately decided (with help from Jeff) that rest was best. Upon first check, my blood pressure was in the severe range. The doc even started talking about admitting me to the hospital. Fortunately, it was down a bit when she re-checked it, so she's going to have me come in again on Thursday to reasses.

She also put me (and the baby) on a fetal monitor. Thankfully, things looked okay there. We then went down a few floors for some extra prescribed bloodwork to check for pre eclampsia. Not only did the nurse call me this evening to give the good news that it was negative, but the doc even personally called to check up on me just a bit ago. "You weren't expecting me to call, were you?" I will just say WOW - she is fantastic! Not too many doctors would do something like that. I told her that I was being good, and listening to her by being lazy on the couch. :) Oh and by the way, my external measurements are at 39 weeks (though I'm not quite at 35... yikes)!

So, I will have to get used to this bedrest thing. I wrapped up some work today & will be fully done once I do the teensiest bit of work in the morning. At that point, I will bid work farewell for awhile. I was reluctant to give in at first, but know that its not really an option. I have been working consistently since I was 15... plus, I've been working really intensely on my projects at work lately, and feel quite attached to (and responsible for) them. It's time to let go. I'm confident with the doctor's recommendation and my compliance to go on bedrest.

If I don't improve, or if my bp continues to rise... we will deliver the baby early. So for now, I'll take it easy. Our little bun isn't quite done yet. I'm so lucky that Jeff takes such good care of me... I love you, sweetheart.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trading College for Childbirth Classes

We’ve been attending childbirth classes for a few weeks, and I must say that I’m enjoying them even more than I thought I would! I highly recommend them to anyone having their first baby. (Our hospital even offers a “refresher” class for those with previous experience.) We are glad we chose the hospital that we did, as we have become increasingly confident regarding their competency to handle any and all situations that may arise during the birth. And HELLLLOOOO they have a private Jacuzzi tub in every birthing suite to help relieve labor pains!!!

The more we learn, the more I cringe, but I realize that this information is priceless. I am feeling more prepared than ever to cope with labor pains. I know it is going to be horrendously painful… but with the best husband in the world at my side, I know we can get through it together. Like I’ve told Jeff – it will still only be the SECOND most difficult thing we’ve been through…

We’ll see what happens with trying for a natural, drug-free delivery, or a possible caesarian section. At the baby's growth rate, no one will be surprised if s/he reaches the 100th percentile instead of the 98th that s/he was measuring at 32 weeks. So, caesarian may be inevitable, but I am so grateful that a doctor that listens to me, and encourages us to make our own decisions. Regardless of the delivery method, the information in the childbirth class is quite empowering. Plus, we’ve met some friendly couples at the class. I’m sure we’ll meet more fun people during this journey.

SIX (or less) WEEKS TO GO!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


We're definitely into the homestretch of the pregnancy (just over 6 weeks left), and definitely overdue for a blog update. I have been exhausted this past week. Sometime during the Utah trip, I think I reached some kind of turning point where I started to feel very, very, very pregnant. Standing up from a lying or sitting position has become increasingly difficult and uncomfortable. Even turning over in bed or on the couch makes me feel like a beached whale. Bring in the ropes! Bring in the crane! Most importantly... bring in the snacks!

Last Monday we had two appointments: our 32-week check-up and big-baby ultrasound. The good news is that the baby looks healthy so far. The shocking news was when the ultrasound office's doctor entered the room to ask, "Do you have gestational diabetes?" (to which I replied that I did not), followed with, "Well, we estimate the baby to weigh about 6lb, 4oz, which is in the top 98th percentile". Mind you--that weight estimate was at the time of the appointment (one week ago), not the estimated birth weight. Our precious little bundle of joy isn't so little! In fact, that weight estimate is already bigger than my own birth weight (6lb 2oz)!

So of course, this had me in a bit of a panic mode. Big-baby report in hand, we then headed a few floors down to our OB's office. Her nurse tried to comfort me with an empathetic "I've seen bigger", which actually came out sounding like more of a question than a statement of fact. She could probably tell I was a little frazzled, and wanted to make me feel better. What did make me feel better was when she put it in perspective--it's better to know now than in the heat of the moment during labor and delivery.

Despite the results of the ultrasound, the doc came in with her usual big smile, which gave me a little boost of confidence. (She is so good at that!) We discussed the baby's size, and what it could mean during labor and delivery. She introduced the possibility of a ceasarean section if my "planned" all-natural drug-free labor does not progress as it should. She said she would likely be willing to schedule a c-section if I wanted to, but we agreed to play it by ear for now.

I then asked about the baby's specific anatomic measurements. The femur length was the smallest of those that were taken. This did worry me a bit--but it was more of a yellow flag than a red one. (Okay, maybe more of a greenish yellow flag.) She said not to worry, since even the femur was still measuring bigger than expecteted for gestational age, and also could be a result of my hispanic heritage. She said that we'll be ready for anything with around-the-clock neonatologists.

Jeff and I are aware that the ultrasound weight estimate is truly just an estimate, and it can be off by about 20%. (Though the doc joked "You could give birth to a toddler!") We are continuing to stay positive. We have our eyes on the prize: that precious, perfect, little (or big) angelic baby will be here soon.


Monday, July 14, 2008

On The Road Again...

We had an amazing last few days. Last Thursday, we dropped off the puppies for boarding, and made our way to Utah for our baby shower. We got a bit of a late start driving, but made it to Jeff's parents' house around 11:00 pm. Em and his mom were probably too excited to sleep, since they greeted us when we got in. It was so great to see them!

After Friday's breakfast (when a small spider may or may not have crawled out of Emily's cereal bowl), Jeff and I made our way southward to pick up my mom from the SLC airport. It was so great to see her, and I can't imagine the weekend without her. We had a fun time shopping and simply enjoying the company of each other and the whole Gunnell family.

We had the shower on Saturday. The entire family worked really hard to pull everything together, and I am so grateful for their efforts and the fun event. Jeff was a great sport, and had a better time than he thought he would. I think he was expecting it to be super girly, though he quickly realized that it was a casual party just for the baby, and not necessarily for me. I only wish that some of my out-of-state friends and family could have been there, too. We got some great baby loot, so I'd like to extend a big "thank you" to everyone that came to celebrate our first baby!

Sunday came far too quickly. We left at about 5am to take my mama to the airport. It was tough to say goodbye. Every time we visit one another, it is tough to say goodbye, and get used to being apart again. The same goes for the whole family too, but especially with my mama. It was a long drive back to Seattle, but it was good to get home.

I leave you with my favorite picture taken over this weekend. We found Landon and Logan having a feast on old bread reserved for feeding the ducks. They had a full spread on the floor that included stale hamburger buns, hotdog buns, and other various bits of leftover bread. Needless to say, they weren't too hungry for dinner that evening.


Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Raining Babies!

Our baby shower is this Saturday in Utah, and I didn't think I could get any more excited.

...I was wrong! My mom called me on Saturday to talk about her travel arrangements to fly from Oakland to SLC for the shower! Baby fever is in full swing. I guess part of me thought she wouldn't make it, but as she said, "I would be a deadbeat mom if I didn't go"! We spent hours on the phone this weekend; we chatted about her travel, the shower, gifts, planning her 2 weeks up here when the baby comes, and her own birth and baby care experiences. Pregnancy has been an emotional and spiritual journey. I love that it's brought me even closer to my own mama.

Emily, thank you sooooo much for putting the baby shower together!! I saw that the weather forecast is calling for some unpleasant temperatures. Be prepared to be a couple of pregnant mamas scarfing down popsicles like there's no tomorrow! Mmmm.. popsicles sound good right now. Haha :)


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getting Closer!

That's right, we're at the 30 week mark! I can hardly wrap my mind around the reality that our precious baby will be here in just under 10 weeks (almost 9, now)! Jeff and I often discuss our many hopes, excitement and (inevitable) fears for the future. I often feel so fortunate that we communicate so comfortably and naturally on such an intimate level.

We had our 30-week appointment on Monday. Things went well - we were pleasantly surprised when the doctor told us that I had grown the appropriate 2cm between now and the last appointment two weeks ago. That means that the baby grew just the right amount! Of course, it still means that the baby is measuring 5 weeks ahead of schedule (35cm), but maybe it is a hopeful sign that the baby decided to go through its growth spurt a little early, and things will be slowing down a bit. My weight gain was also textbook-ideal in the last two weeks. Interestingly, I haven't really done anything differently than I've done in the past (eating, exercising, etc), so it is good to know that the baby is just doing his/her own thing & I'm not necessarily negatively causing this crazy growth!

The belly continues to grow, and the baby continues to be extremely active. They say the minimum movements should be 10 per hour... but sometimes it seems like it's 10 per minute! :) It may sound a bit odd (and maybe it's pregnancy hormones talking), but I do sometimes wish that my brothers specifically could feel the baby move. I miss them often, and can't help but think that they've likely never felt baby kicks in the belly--let alone from their future niece/nephew! I left CA at age 18, which means that I've now been apart from their lives for almost 10 years. Regardless of our childhood squabbles, distance (and time) do make the heart grow fonder. So... Anthony, Greg, and Mario... Hopefully when Jeff and I have our next baby, you'll get to share the joy of feeling the alien baby move! Just know that when the baby moves, I often think of you, and wish you were there to experience it, too!

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